Oosthuizen eyes Masters spot
South African Louis Oosthuizen has given himself another chance to win his first European Tour title – and a place in The Masters.
South African Louis Oosthuizen has given himself yet another chance to win his first European Tour title – and with it a place in The Masters.
Runner-up to Welshman Rhys Davies in Morocco last week after leading by three with 15 holes to play, Oosthuizen takes a one-shot advantage over England’s Robert Coles into the final day of the Andalucian Open in Malaga.
Only a victory will probably do for the 27-year-old in his bid for a second successive trip to Augusta and a four under par 66 kept him on course.
Oosthuizen, four times second on the circuit but five times a winner in his home country, now stands 14 under and said: “My putting has not let me down, but I’m not happy with how I hit a few irons shots.
“It’s a low-scoring course, but the thing is you can try and attack it too much and make stupid bogeys. I made a few today.”
Coles, a 37-year-old West Ham fan from Essex, has been on and off the Tour since his debut in 1995, making 10 trips to the qualifying school and never finishing higher than third in an event.
His 63 was his lowest round in 267 tournaments and lifted him from ninth to second while fellow Englishman Sam Hutsby, the joint overnight leader, dropped back to joint fifth on 10 under with a level par 70.
Coles lost his father in January, but with wife Sinead expecting their second child shortly he is enjoying being back on Tour.
His last full season was 2006, but after failing on his last three visits to the qualifying school he graduated from the Challenge Tour at the end of last year.
“There have been lots of times when I thought I might not have another chance,” he said.
“I had three years on the Challenge Tour and each time I thought, ‘Am I doing the right thing?’, but getting my card back justifies the effort.”
He started for home with five successive birdies to climb into the hunt, chipped in to stay par at the 16th and finished with another birdie. Having holed from off the green at the 11th as well, his round contained a mere 20 putts.
The former Petticoat Lane market stall worker would be a surprise winner, but not as much as the player in third place.
Spaniard Gabriel Canizares, who on Friday had the first albatross of the Tour season, is only two behind on 12 under following a 65.
He is the son of former Ryder Cup player Jose Maria, but stands 1,362nd in the world – joint last with no points to his name – and does not even have a Tour card at the moment.
Hutsby, a 21-year-old rookie from Hampshire, had a ding-dong battle with Oosthuizen over the first 10 holes, making up for three bogeys with five birdies to remain joint leader.
But he played the last eight holes in two over compared to the South African’s two under.
That left fellow Englishman Richard Finch in fourth on 11 under and Hutsby one further back alongside Scot Peter Whiteford and Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen.
Nicolai Von Dellingshausen out in front in Tenerife
Von Dellingshausen added a second round of 62 to his opening 64 to reach 16 under par.
Is Bryson DeChambeau a good bet to defend his US Open title in June?
Golf’s biggest hitter devised the perfect strategy to win at Winged Foot – but can he do the same at Torrey Pines?
John Catlin one-shot off lead at Tenerife Open after threatening to record 59
The American had covered his first 13 holes in 10 under but finished with an opening round of 63.
Paul Casey out to join ‘elite company’ with hat-trick at Valspar Championship
Casey says he is ‘raring to go’ as he eyes his third successive victory in the event.
Tom McKibbin flattered by Rory McIlroy comparisons and would love to emulate him
The pair both hail from Holywood Golf Club just outside Belfast.
Q&A: EDGA president Tony Bennett on twin priorities of disability golf
The organisation, formerly the European Disabled Golf Association, is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year.
Valspar Championship: Casey has eyes on unique threepeat
The Englishman has won the last two editions of the Florida event and will bid to land a hat-trick of triumphs this week.
Bountiful weekend for South African golf – can the players ride the wave into the Majors?
It was a great weekend for South African golfers – but can they repeat the kind of success they enjoyed in the early 2000s?
Garrick Higgo set for US PGA Championship debut after winning in Spain
The 21-year-old held off Germany’s Max Kieffer.
Garrick Higgo wins Gran Canaria Lopesan Open after seeing off Max Kieffer
The 21-year-old left-hander carded a flawless closing 63 to finish 25 under par.